Mickey's Jigsaw Puzzles. (software package) (Evaluation)
by Carol Holzberg
Join Mickey and friends Donald Duck, Goofy, and Minnie Mouse for an electronic jigsaw puzzle adventure. Mickey's Jigsaw Puzzles features 15 colorful pictures showing these famous Disney characters in a variety of familiar settings. You'll see Mickey riding a skateboard, running with a football, or scuba-diving. Minnie dances or does aerobis. Mickey, Goofy, and Donald jam in a jazz band or tiptoe through a haunted castle.
Youngsters (ages 5 and up) select puzzle type and size using arrow keys, joystick, or mouse. A point-and-click graphical user interface makes operation a breeze. After selecting a puzzle, kids decide whether it divides into 4, 9, 16, 25, 36, 49, or 64 pieces. The more puzzle fragments, the harder the picture reassembly.
Puzzle pieces come in your choice of either the traditional jigsaw shapes or simple squares that can make for a greater challenge. A silhoutte option lets children easily solve puzzles by dropping shapes into a picture outline. Somewhat older players will enjoy solving puzzles with grid lines (outlines of puzzle shapes) active. With all pieces placed correctly, kids can animate the scene by selecting the Movie Camera icon. Alternatively, they can animate individual puzzle pieces by pointing at and clicking on a part of the puzzle.
Customizing options let adults configure the program to run with a timer (to show how long it takes to complete a puzzle), work with a printer (to generate line art picture printouts), and take advantage of a sound card or Disney's Sound Source, a sound accessory peripheral that plugs into your computer's parallel port. Disney characters actually speak clearly through the Sound Source.
Mickey's Jigsaw Puzzles entertains your kids for hours just like puzzles have throughout history. If you've been looking for a low-impact way to introduce your children to your PC, this talking, animated collection of soon-to-be-classic Disney art will certainly start their relationship off right.